stuck and tired: how universities are failing disabled students (like me)
I was delighted that feminism and disability blog FWD/Forward expressed an interest in my writing about my disappointing university experience for them. Here’s a little taster. (Click “read more” to go to their site.)
You’re intelligent, personable, and get good grades. It might look like higher education is a given.
But it isn’t. Not when you have a disabling illness. Then, making it to graduation could be more challenging than you ever imagined.
Last year, I tried to finish the degree I dropped when I got ill back in 1998. The disability services department at my new university contacted me the summer before I started my course, asking what extra help I would need.
I had never been a student with disabilities before, so I couldn’t anticipate all the challenges I might face. But the system for reporting those I was aware of seemed doomed to failure: a disability advisor emailed my department in the first week of the semester to advise them that I needed my seminars and lectures to be accessible.
Inevitably, this was too late. One of my lectures was in a building with a lift that was almost always out of order, leaving me the choice of missing out or making myself ill. And my registration experience was disastrous.